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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    God knows! It's not easy interpreting Augustine on this matter, especially given that he was so clearly rather messed up on the whole subject. Probably something to do with his mother. I don't think he would regard sexual arousal as a sin, but he would regard it as inevitably accompanied by concupiscence.

    This is pretty standard Platonic stuff. It goes back the Phaedrus, where Plato talks about the three parts of the soul - reason (nous), spirit (thymos), and appetite (epithymia). He uses the famous metaphor of the chariot, where reason, the charioteer, directs the two horses, spirit and appetite. The idea is that you need spirit and appetite to do anything, but they have to be properly guided by reason, or chaos and misery will follow. So that's what it means to have an ordered soul. This idea was developed by the Neoplatonists, who loved hierarchies more than anything. Gregory of Nyssa extended the hierarchy to include God. On his view, spirit must direct appetite, reason must direct spirit, and God must direct reason. That is the secret to a happy life. I think Augustine basically repeats this sort of idea.

    I did my master's thesis on this in Gregory of Nyssa, so that's one thing I do more or less know about, at least!

    It probably is older than Leibniz, but as far as I know, it wasn't really explicitly argued for by anyone before him. Don't forget that it was controversial in Leibniz' day and afterwards. Leibniz devotes much of the Theodicy to arguing for this position, and I think most people remained unconvinced - hence Voltaire's famous lampooning of the idea in Candide, and his hectoring against it in his poem on the Lisbon earthquake.

    I don't know - that's a question for Luther experts. I suspect it was when he met Cajetan, who refused to countenance the possibility that Luther was right, and simply demanded that he recant. Luther had initially assumed that the church authorities would agree with him, but this meeting convinced him that he had been badly mistaken: far from regarding him as an ally, the Pope would condemn him as an opponent.

    Matthew 26:64.

    Now, he doesn't say you're not allowed to enjoy it - just that you're not allowed to be lustful. Or something. At any rate, the notion that Adam and Eve did not sleep together before the Fall is very ancient. I think it's universal among the church fathers (some of whom, notably Irenaeus, thought that Adam and Eve were actually children). I don't know if they inherited this belief from Judaism. As far as I know there's no explicit reason for it in the Hebrew - don't forget that the church fathers almost universally disregarded the Hebrew and took the Septuagint to be the inspired text - but Jerome certainly shared this opinion, and he was one of the few to accept the Hebrew. I suppose it's just a natural inference from the way that we told, in 3:24, that Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden, and then immediately told, in 4:1, that they slept together and had children.

    What do you mean, what is my opinion? On what matter, precisely?
     
  2. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Thanks. The word used there is indeed "plen", however I can't find anyone else saying that it's used to mean "on the contrary". The general interpretation seems to be that it should be translated as "nevertheless", or "but". I don't see how you can go from "nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." to "Jesus is saying He isn't God".
     
  3. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Oh, I didn't say Jesus is saying he isn't God. The question of his being God isn't raised there. Being the Messiah is not the same thing as being God, and being the Son of Man isn't, either. Being the Son of God also carries no implications of divinity. The question of Jesus' divinity is (mostly) a post-New Testament thing. However, I do think the structure of this verse amounts to a tacit denial of Messiah-hood. And as I say, it is interesting that Matthew should modify the parallel verse in Mark (in which, as Quasar points out, Jesus uncompromisingly claims to be the Messiah) in such a way.
     
  4. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Jesus is not a christian ...
     
  5. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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  6. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Don't get me started.:mischief:
     
  7. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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  8. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Let me ask you this-Is Jesus a Jew or a Christian?

    quite common sense,don't you think?Or are you in denile?
     
  9. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    No, I am just using a different definition of "Christian" - he was one of a small group of people who could be called both. The first generation of Christians, before the movement broke completely away from Judaism.
     
  10. Sidhe

    Sidhe Chieftain

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    There are a fair number of Jewish Christians around now too. Most of the Nazareens are for example, or the essenics.
     
  11. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    :coffee: So in consequence,Christianity is merely a reforming judaistic cult that grows into a religion...:hmm: which in fact,it quite similiar to another reforming cult that grew into a religion...Mormonism?!:mischief:
    So this is the reason why names of religion of whatever are merely signifiers of something else that was signified.
     
  12. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Not quite; Christianity's break from Judaism was not inevitable, whereas Mormonism was defined by its distinction from other Christian groups from the outset.
     
  13. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    Let me ask you a question:Can Mormonism exist today without having the knowledge of Christianity in its beginnings of the 19th century?
     
  14. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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  15. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    No-one thinks that Jesus was a Christian. A Christian is a follower of Jesus, so obviously Jesus can't be a follower of himself.

    Christianity was not a reforming Jewish cult. That description would more properly refer to Pharisaism, which was one movement among many in Jesus' day (though a very popular one), and which became dominant within Judaism after the destruction of the Temple. Similarly, I don't see why Mormonism should be called "reforming". It's just different.
     
  16. Maimonides

    Maimonides Chieftain

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    No such thing. A Christian believes that Jesus is the Messiah. A Jew believes the Messiah hasn't come yet. These beliefs are diametrically opposed.

    There is a small movement known as Messianic Jews or Jews for Jesus, but they are Christians who observe Jewish traditions. Their activities are primarily funded by Christian groups interested in converting Jews.
     
  17. Sidhe

    Sidhe Chieftain

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    I don't think so Jew or Jewishness is an ethnicity not a religion, your thinking of Judaism. Otherwise the moment you became secular you would give up your right to being called a Jew, which I'm pretty sure does not happen. Are all atheist/agnostic Jews, not Jews now as well, because there are plenty of those?
     
  18. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    That's a pretty narrow definition of Jewishness, though. The thing with Judaism is that it's extremely broad, doctrinally speaking. You can believe all sorts of things and still count as a Jew, at least on some definitions. Personally I don't see why someone can't be a Christian and a Jew at the same time, at least from a Jewish point of view.

    Besides, I'm not sure that you have to believe Jesus to be the Messiah in order to be a Christian, at least on some understandings of Christianity. Some more liberal-minded Christians would no doubt say that "Messiah" was a culturally encoded category which Jesus' first followers used to understand who he was, but which is largely meaningless outside that context. In which they would probably be right - we've already seen the misunderstanding that to call Jesus the Messiah is to call him divine. Besides, talk of "the" Messiah implies some kind of divine appointment, but not all Christians even believe in any objective supernatural reality. As I think I said before, I can't think of a single doctrine that every single Christian believes. So one should never over-generalise about what's possible!

    As for whether Jewishness is an ethnicity or a religion, I can't really understand why it would be considered anything other than a religion. What is the difference between a Jew who doesn't follow Judaism and anyone else? Jews are not racially different from anyone else, as far as I can tell. If you don't follow Judaism, by what definition are you a Jew?
     
  19. Maimonides

    Maimonides Chieftain

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    A completely secular, atheist or agnostic Jew would not believe in Jesus as the Messiah or Christ, either.

    Thanks. I hadn't considered this. Perhaps I should have said "Christ" instead of Messiah. I am always hearing Christians quoting messianic prophesies in the Torah/Old Testament so I'm mentally hung up on thinking that all Christians view Jesus as the Messiah.

    Anyone who's mother was Jewish is considered a Jew by other Jews so long as they havn't converted to another religion. Therefore, a Jew doesn't have to practice Judaism to be considered Jewish. Yet, Judaism probably isn't really a genetic ethnicity. Modern Jews consider themselves to be the decendants of the Tribes of Israel, yet they come in all shapes, colors & sizes. Conversion to Judaism is both a tribal induction as well as a spiritual journey. It's complicated. Reform Jews might not require that one's mother be Jewish to be considered a Jew.

    The question of who is a Jew really came to a head in the 80s when Israel was airlifting Falasha Jews out of Ethiopia. Falasha Jews were isolated from the rest of the Jewish world for centuries & didn't know about many holidays & traditions that other Jews celebrated. The consensus was that they are Jews.

    On top of this, Ethiopians who weren't Falasha Jews started claiming to be in order to participate in the airlift & escape the war & famine in Ethiopia. I'm not really sure how it was all sorted out.

    Still a great thread, Plotinus!
     
  20. Sidhe

    Sidhe Chieftain

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    But they'd still be Jewish, I think your definition is too narrow, I think you can be a Jew and a Christian, like Plotinus. I don't think your faith 100% defines your Jewishness.
     
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